Sadly, I can’t even remember everything I put in the lost post.  However, I do know that I had blogged about the latest Chewy delivery, so we’ll start there.

47387,1389673065$SS172$It’s another Sissy-friendly product!  Before Sissy’s extensive allergies were diagnosed, they ate – and loved – EVO kibble, so it was exciting (for me) to see an EVO treat that is Sissy-approved.  (For those not accustomed to my Sissy-centric vocabulary, that means basically no land animals, no corn products at all.)  Despite some “expert opinions” that insist dogs don’t like variety, my girls’ reactions to new treats suggests precisely the opposite, and while there are no photos (in part because the treats are Gretchen-sized and also because they were excited and thus, no photo opportunities presented themselves), the girls LOVE the new to them herring flavor of the Wild Cravings.

(Now… how weird is that?!  The post/draft is gone, but the “media” I uploaded was saved.  Go figure.)

They are training treat sized for Sissy and most dogs, but for Gg, they’re just the right size for a snack, although the round shape does seem to break in the package, so there are Gg training treat bits too.  If your dog likes fishy treats – and you don’t mind fish breath – give these a try!  There are other flavors and a cat variety too.  Thanks, Chewy!  I’ve truly lost track of how many months in a row you’ve offered Sissy-approved options for us to try, but I do know that the past couple of months, there have been at least TWO options on the list of products for your bloggers to review.

Courtesy of CAbi

Courtesy of CAbi

In a drastic shift of topic, this blog’s media library suggests that I also FINALLY shared my CAbi purchases.   It was basically this very look, but with darker ankle jeans and some in and out of fire truck friendly metallic flats.  If you click on that link, it will show you the top in more detail – sure to be a three-season favorite for years to come – and the grey-yellow jacket, which I had to be all but held down and forced into, because I can’t wear yellow.

I am a CAbi fan now.  All-day comfort, machine-washable, and I wasn’t too over-dressed at work but I was perfectly poised for an important League meeting after work.  I look forward to actually being able to attend a show and add to my “collection” soon.  I have my eye on several other pieces that should work well in my very casual work environment and with my general preference for … not too casual attire.

Sorry the selfie is so washed out.  The walls in my office are actually a lovely, light tan, but with Untitledthe lighting and the light-colored jacket…  Yeah.  Anyway, it proves that I can wear yellow, strategically.

Another new love is my most recent Lilly Pulitzer purchase.  I found the wristlet at the register, and while my Lifeproof encased iPhone 5 doesn’t fit in the little interior phone spot, it does sit happily inside the case.  There’s no coin zipper, but my large checkbook-wallet holds coins, so this is the perfect grab-n-go for me.   I had a terrible time choosing which print I wanted, but given how much I hate to change bags, there’s no chance I’ll go back for another.

Courtesy of Lilly P

Courtesy of Lilly P

It’s significantly smaller than my previous go-to wristlet, which is a plus for me.   While the previous trusted friend served me well for at least two years, it was really too large to really be a wristlet.  I mean… if you can’t dangle it from your wrist without discomfort, it isn’t really a wristlet, even if it has the strap.  And best of all, it’s printed PVC, so it’s easy to keep clean and it’s lightweight.

I’m pleased enough that I’m pondering the Lilly P iPad Smart Cover too.  I found a “previous season” print on a discount website for significant savings, so what’s not to love?!  (The shipping, but anyhoo… it’s still a great deal.)

Have you had any great finds lately?


Untitled Oh, the irony!  My sweet sister gifted me what has turned out to be my perfect bag, and Coach hasn’t repeated the silhouette.   I don’t know that I can carry it once fall become official this weekend, and I’m a little worked up about it.

Yeah, I know I *COULD* just carry it, and some of you will think I’m silly for not carrying on with a great bag that just happens to be in lighter colors that *I* associate with spring and summer.   Call me old fashioned and a slave to outdated rules, but I don’t feel comfortable carrying this bag year ’round. 

I do have my plaid tote, and I’ll likely return to it, but I’ll miss this bag.  It’s a little taller, a little lighter in weight and it’s just been ideal.  Evidently, I was looking for a modern Mary Poppins bag, that could manage my regular purse gear and not strain when I add an iPad, a bottle of wine and more.

Another thing I love about this bag that the reliable plaid tote lacks is that zipper across the top.  Granted, I rarely zip this bag shut, but when I need to, it’s an option I appreciate.

And those straps are perfect.  I’m really, REALLY  sad that Coach didn’t offer the same bag in maybe a buttery, toffee-colored leather, or something fallish in fabric.

Do let me know if you see something similar, will you?

Mary Poppins

UntitledWe’re playing trick the old work computer.   It seems I can post photos if I use html, so you’ll have to settle for this sad, phone photo of my new handbag.   My wonderful, generous sister gave it to me for my birthday, and my League friends have dubbed it the Mary Poppins bag, because it’s deceptively roomy.  

I believe the phrase was coined last week.   I had to park on the street, and didn’t care to walk past the posse of neighborhood kiddos playing between me and my friend’s front door, whilst swinging a chilled bottle of wine, so …  I dropped it in my bag, which already had a box of Turtles and my iPad.   Maybe I did appear to be channeling Ms. Poppins as I whipped out the wine, a box of chocolates and my “e-book.”  The name has caught on, and I used it myself last night when I asked someone to grab my bag too when she went to get her own from the bag-staging bench our lovely hostess has just for her encumbered guests.

What you can’t see is the super-awesome strip of patent leather that is the exterior bottom of the bag.   It’s truly just about perfect.  I was a little surprised that Gretchen wasn’t drawn to the PANK lining, but Sis has a special fondness for sticking her head in this bag, for some reason.   Why yes, it does have a zipper and if I’d pull it shut…  but I don’t, because the phone lives in its pocket near the top of the bag, and that’s just one more unnecessary step at home.  When I’m out and about I do close the bag.

What movie character are you channeling these days?

So Complicated

It’s very hard to blog when you can’t remember to take photos.   So…  you’ll just have to wait to hear about what I did over the weekend until I can provide said images.

It’s not that hard.  Other people pull out their phones and snap photos.  I don’t have to post them on Facebook or Instagram – or I could – but…  I am not good about preserving a moment via a snapsnot.

It was a great weekend.  Lots of R&R, a new life came into the world even though his blankie isn’t ready, there was good family time and a new wine…  but no photos, so more about all of that another day, okay?

Talbots Tonal-Stripe Skirt

Talbots Tonal-Stripe Skirt

Instead, I’m going to subject you to prattle about inbox shopping.  Do you shop from your inbox?  I do a lot of “just looking” from those emails, but sometimes, just the right thing is on sale and you need to buy it while they still have your size.  I’ve been eyeing that skirt since it showed up in my Talbots Advisory Council survey, months ago.   I’m truly at my wardrobe capacity, but this is a four-season staple that will happily pair with about 27 things I already own.  It’s an online exclusive that sometimes – on the same monitor even – appears more red, and others, more PANK, but either way, I know I’ll wear it to pieces.

13037132And Vera Bradley has finally tempted me with what they’re calling an All in One crossbody.  Maybe.  I’m really fond of my Coach wristlets though…  but this is more organized and sometimes, crossbody convenience is handy, even if it doesn’t work so well on my body.  And it’s lined in PANK.  How awesome is that?!

Last but hardly least, Sierra Trading Post keeps sending me 35% off “coupons” and they have my beloved Brooks Cascadia in the blue I like.  I don’t have a pair in reserve or in that color, and these are the shoes that make my feet, my legs, my body, the happiest, on any surface… except wet cement and mud-slicked boat ramps. 


What are you making more complicated than it has to be?


Another in Search of…

July 2012 022

THE bag (and a basset ear)

Remember my quest(s) for the perfect handbag?  Well, it would seem that search is over, as I’m still carrying the coated fabric tote the Knight gave me for my birthday last year.  For those keeping score at home, that’s one bag for nearly one year.  I did switch out to a larger tote for the trip to Chicago, but for DC’s conference last month, I stuck with my trusty friend.

And when one suffers from chronic analysis paralysis, there must always be a quest.  Currently, it’s for perfect workout attire.   For comfort and function, my favorite pants are the Yogasmoga crops.   Their only flaw is a lack of pockets.  There’s one key/card pocket in the front waistband – a feature I adore – but that isn’t enough.  I need to have my iPhone (it is my GPS/pedometer and my security device) and a key with me when I leave the house.  The fabric is phenomenal, enough so that I can say Luluwho?

Let’s stop right there.  Maybe I’m unrealistic, but I don’t want to have separate, activity-based workout attire.  I do have four season’s worth of options, so adding in elements that only work in a gym or studio isn’t practical.  And besides, don’t those of you who workout inside still need a place to at least tuck a locker key?  Why do they make workout pants with NO pockets?

LS_1023-001_Adventure_Girl_SkirtMy favorite summer bottom to date is my Skirtsports Happy Girl (link to a sale) skirt.  It has pockets on both thighs and a back zippered pocket.  However, it’s a little long for petite me.  It’s great for coverage, but annoying for brisk-paced walking or jogging.  The shorts are mesh though, so that’s nice now that it’s very warm.  I want to try their new Adventure Girl Skirt, with FIVE pockets, but I believe it’s as long in the back as the Happy Girl, and that’s where the Happy Girl annoys me most… right “in” my knee.

I have a Nike dress to try, and yesterday I discovered Runningskirts.  Anyone know anything about them?  I want to try Athleta too, but they’re short on pockets.  And no, we don’t have any of these stores in podunk.

Anything exciting in your weekend plans?


Vera Bradley Island?

The email introducing Vera’s new summer colors starts with “island time” and for a change, they all speak to me.  Did anyone other than gMarie notice that I skipped a season or more of Vera’s colors? 

full_140Tutti Frutti might be my favorite swatch, but if you click over and look at the bags, it screams … that green minty dental flouride gritty paste from the late 20th century.  (PLEASE tell me I’m not the only one who feels that way, or remembers that … mint-colored glop?) 

So, while the colors appeal to me greatly up close, I’m pretty sure Tutti Frutti isn’t coming home with me… unless I get an urge to buy something for my darlin’ dentist, or the Knight’s awesome cousin who works for her.

full_139Sun Valley has the precise opposite impact.  While the swatch doesn’t do much for me, I don’t mind it on the bags.   I think it might really be special – as in, I couldn’t resist it – if the coral was brighter and/or in such a splotch that it didn’t look rather orange instead of coral.

Nautical-preppy-Aztec anyone?   It’s an odd combination, but that’s what I feel when I look at it.  It’s a little old Cape Cod with its faded red/coral, navy and white, while the geometric pattern reminds me of …  well, I don’t even know that it really feels Aztec-ky, but that’s what my fingers and mind typed earlier, so why question it?

full_142Lilli Bell.  Why did they smack orange in the middle of an otherwise traditional preppy color scheme?  I’m sure they were going for modern and such, but instead…  It reminds me very much of an ancient smoke-eater’s wife by the same name.  Hem.

The contrasting print, the one right and rear, is pretty awesome though.  Too bad Vera stopped doing the plastic-coated Frill line mostly done in those contrasting fabrics…

full_141So that means that last is NOT least, and Marina Paisley is my favorite of this all-in-all solid class of Summer 2013.   The white scares me a bit, because I’m not a white-wearer.  I have slobbery Sissy.  I have sweet Gretchen Greer who likes to “touch” me in greeting, with her paws, with her nose… she just wants to make physical contact.  But even without the dogs, I’m a toss my bag wherever kinda’ girl.

The problem is, I need a LIGHT, good-sized bag.  That rules leather out.  Even my coated canvas tote (I’ve been using it almost exclusively since July if you can believe it) isn’t lightweight.  I’d love one of those nylon bags with the leather handles, but I haven’t found the right color at the right price, in the right size. 

Do they do anything for you?


The fur-girls know when something in the mail is theirs.  I guess we all had a clue, just from looking at the stamps!


I thought the Brittany was a basset at first glance, in part because I know the sender from our basset hound group on Ravelry.  Still pretty awesome though, huh?

And their were special Sissy-approved treats in the box too, but this is after all MY blog, so I thought I’d share a photo of what was in there for me!

photo.JPGI had a little trouble getting a good photo, but if you’re on Ravelry, here’s a link to the original project page.  Natalie no longer has a basset to help her, so she was able to get some great photos of just the bag. 

(Why yes, the bag IS sitting on the DIVA.  Your point?)

photo.JPGThe above photo is too dark, but the colors are fairly accurate.  This photo is over-exposed, but gives you a better view of the details. 

If you’re wondering about the post’s title, the pattern name is Around About.   It’s a fun, functional felted bag, made from the remnants of some wool I sent Natalie when she wanted to make a felted bed for the new feline resident in their home.  I’m pretty sure I got the better end of this deal, even before Natalie pointed out that I am not caring for an aged cat!

How was your weekend?  I had a great time at Mistletoe Market and thoroughly enjoyed the holiday tea also at the Boar’s Head.  I had a great, loose jasmine tea, and the setting – company included – couldn’t have been better.  We had an intimate little room with a fireplace, perfect for a damp, chilly tea time.  I’ll share my MM finds another day… after I get some photos in decent lighting, probably with my “real” camera rather than just my phone’s camera.


July 2012 022So…  I don’t know the precise style name, but the Knight found me a great Dooney & Bourke tote that’s just perfect.   You only get this one photo, because it’s that kind of hectic around here, and this is all I snapped while I was taking photos of other stuff last week.

And yes, Sissy is taking advantage of the situation and inspecting the bag.  Despite its coated canvas exterior, I’ve kept it away from my slobber-gobber girl. 

He searched around for something that would be iPad friendly, and it is.  It doesn’t zip across the top, but it snaps in two places, so it can be closed quite securely.   There are several pockets inside, but the main compartment is wide open for my big wallet, whichever case the iPhone is in, sunglasses case, a file folder, etc.

D&B Medium East-West Shopper

Best of all, it’s lightweight.  I’d tell you I’m done buying bags, but there’s a fall version on the D&B website… 

Hem.  Okay.  I have a bag problem.  It only has a magnetic center snap, so it isn’t as perfect as what I have.  Whew.

And a dress problem… but we aren’t talking about that right now.  If we were, I’d want to hear from the Boden fans out there…

The good news is though, I’m knitting from my stash almost exclusively these days.  I can’t wait to show you my latest FO, but there are actually two that need blocking, so…

Honestly?  I don’t see it happening this weekend.  Maybe early next week… maybe?

Any exciting weekend plans?  Me?  I’m looking forward to lots of long walks to make it possible for me to spend more time getting to know my new friend, Talenti’s sea salt caramel gelato

And does anyone else Jazzercise?  Two of my distant-city pals really love it, and it seems to fit my virtually no-impact needs…



Bag Bother

Something like the offenders

I’m feeling a bit like Eeyore today.  It’s raining.  I didn’t get enough sleep last night.  I have on pants I don’t love –

I’m going to interrupt myself right there.  I’m going to go home, toss these pups in the laundry, and then send them to GoodWill.   Life’s too short to wear clothes that bring me down.  I don’t love them because they don’t fit…  Note to self.  You are NOT high-waisted.  You had some success with higher-waisted pants before, but not now. 

In fact, I tend to know that trying to wear pants will yield a less than happy day.  Jeans?  No problem.  Leggings?  No problem.  But anything designed to be a “trouser” or “dress pants”… for reasons unclear to me, they never have and probably never will fit me.  Anyone else have that problem?

Anyway, back to the original, intended topic.  About those bags…

April 2012 005Big Buddha is a big fail.  I’ll keep it and use it for its intended purpose… that good-sized travel handbag that can double as a tote in a pinch, but the interior slip pockets are rapidly becoming one pocket, as the stitching between the two lets go a little more every time I use it.   Even with the bargain price the Knight found on eBay, I am so thoroughly unimpressed and won’t consider this brand again.  Pity…  Love me some pretty pleather, and the size, shape and appearance of this bag REALLY make me happy. 

April 2012 007I switched to the JL khaki tote with its own scarf.  Meh.   The interior slip pockets are too wide and too shallow.  No feet on the bottom.  It doesn’t hold its shape at all, so all of that combined makes me completely uninclined to have a zipper sewn in the top.  It will be retired after this week’s round of meetings in favor of a lighter summer bag, probably a small crossbody.

In short, it looks best as it hangs, right there.  I think I’ll untie the scarf, press it, and put it in my closet to be used as a belt and/or scarf.

I’m thinking that for the next year, I need a small bag that is happy to tuck into a larger tote for League business.  I must look like a pack mule with a fairly large bag over my shoulder and my stuffed to the gills tote tagging along. 

Here’s what I carry in my bag:

photo.JPGFor now, I am using my Tig wallet, because it also doubles as a quick clutch when the Knight and I head out for dinner. 

However, it is also much bigger than what I really need, so I am pondering a switch back to one of my little wristlets.  (Link to post that features both the Tig wallet and wristlets.)

I also carry a large Vera Bradley glasses case and business card holder.

I hesitate to mention the little cosmetic bag, because I seriously open it about twice a year.  I don’t miss it when I don’t have it, and it takes up a ton of space.

In the zippered interior pocket, I carry that key ring full of those stupid cards for every store I might shop in, a charger for my iPhone/iPad, more lip balm (because I also have some in my wallet and lipstick in the cosmetic bag), and … more.

Obviously it goes without saying, the iPhone goes everywhere I go.  The iPad only goes to meetings, the poor red-headed stepchild.

The bag saga continues.

Accessories for your accessories?

April 2012 007AJLI did a great job with our totes at this conference.  I can’t bring myself to call them “complimentary” because the conference registration fee certainly covers the tote, the materials, the meals and the first-rate speakers, but those of you attending conferences regularly know you can’t take it for granted that you’ll get anything you care to even cart home…

This one’s a keeper.  It’s something I MIGHT have even purchased for myself if it hadn’t been “given” to me.  I’m still pondering having a zipper added on the inside, very top…  Do I take it to a tailor or a shoe repair place?  It’s not a heavy canvas material, which is nice, because that makes it lighter to carry, even when stuffed with a notebook of conference materials, my always-present “lab book” notebook, and an iPad.  I like it so well it’s become my “transition” bag. 

If you’re keeping score at home, that’s League bag #3…

  1. The regular JLC Vineyard Vines bag that is ALWAYS in the car or at my side, chocked full of everything a roaming incoming president of a local non-profit might possibly need.  The lab book is generally in there, but I’m taking notes at the transition meetings, so… 
  2. The current-year Emily Couric Community Advocacy Award bag, which still holds two copies of every application.  One set will get filed in the official ECCAA notebook to be passed along to the next President Elect, and then after our Community Service Recognition Ceremony later this month, THAT bag will be retired.  (Read:  THROWN OUT.  There’s a reason I haven’t shared the winter leadership conference bag with you.  Hem.)
  3. See above… the lovely, preppy, summery tote that will see me through the transition process.

April 2012 009Now, back to the subject of this post.  I have scoffed (or flat-out made fun of) the trend to tie a perfectly good scarf on a handbag.  I may have SNOL’d right there in front of God and everybody in San Fran when the nice AJLI staffer handed me my tote with its scarf tied on.  And then, I caught myself re-tying said scarf, because my stepmom is the bow-tying queen of the free world, and I knew I could do better.

… and then, Friday morning, one color blocking fashionista used said scarf as a belt (I do this ALL the time, not that you’d know… but I do), and did it so well the incoming President of all of AJLI called her up front in front of all the other incoming presidents to strut her stuff.  (She had on a red pencil skirt and a … coral? blouse.  Even if I can’t remember details and didn’t take a picture, trust me; this scarf-belt worked and worked well.)

April 2012 008Anyway, as they did with the similarly styled black tote from the fall conference, they tucked a little JL logo on a sewn-in, exterior tag.   Nothing like some discrete marketing, eh?

There are also interior slip pockets.  If Big Buddha doesn’t hold up, I’ll definitely have a zipper added to the top of this bag and keep on gettin’ it.  That is, right after y’all tell me where to go to get said zipper installed…

How do you feel about accessories for your accessories?